All were in their breakout rooms. Each group of three had a task: to plan reading for Spring Break. Before I sent them off I explain/semi-demonstrated their goal.
“I have a book I’m reading right now.” I hold up Epic Zero #1. “There are thirty pages till I’m done. I’ll finish that today. So I need to pick up my next book.” I hold up Front Desk. “This is the book I’m gonna read for the next week. Now you all need to do this same kind of thinking.”
Hands go up.
F: But Mrs Harmatz, I’m on page 75 of my book.
So we do some figuring out with F and the whole group. I start, “If you read thirty pages a day, then… “
Through our calculations, F gets to the end of the book by Sunday. “Perfect!” I say. “Start your new book on Monday!”
I realize I’m asking students to do something they haven’t had to do. They plan their reading every day in class. Never over a long period. This is always tricky. Ah well. It will be a first experience.
I set my expectations low and give them time to figure things out in breakout rooms.
In less than a minute a message flashes on the screen: C- needs help in room 4.
Here we go.
I pop into room 4. (As an aside, I’m I the only one who feels magical materializing in “rooms” ?)
C – “Mrs. Harmatz, we have a problem. We are trying to figure out a way to meet during the week, but we have trouble setting up the zoom.”
The group goes on to explain how their technology, some school borrowed, has limits.
I am thrilled that they want to meet. I didn’t expect it. After listening to all of their technology woes, I offer to host their zoom.
They confer. Developing multiple plans. All independent of me. In the end they have plans A and B. I am plan C. Plan B involves a parent. They inform me that they will get back to me.
I leave to see H in room 8 who is requesting help.
H – “Mrs. Harmatz let me show you our plan. We used the big seven strategy.”
He shares the google jamboard he created on the screen. “We took the total number of pages and divided them by the number of days so we know how much to read a day.”
I don’t know what to be most proud of. The independence with technology, the understanding of the task at hand, or the ability to utilize a recently learned math strategy to figure out a real life problem. And, I don’t know whose prouder, H or me.
I go on on touch base with all of the groups. Some are negotiating book selections. Some are figuring out how their vacation plans will fit in to which others respond, take the book with you.
We return to the main room.
C informs me that plan B worked. They don’t need me.
Talk in the main room continues, through the chat box and outloud.
I hear, “Do we have a padlet to post our Animal Crossing zooms?”
I say, “Just post your meet ups on the reading padlet.”
Giggles. “We’re gonna have all our conversations on the reading padlet.”
Who knew planning to read a book over Spring Break would be so engaging and informative.